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ERIC Number: EJ1161347
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
The Strength of Evidence Pyramid: One Approach for Characterizing the Strength of Evidence of Geoscience Education Research (GER) Community Claims
St. John, Kristen; McNeal, Karen S.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v65 n4 p363-372 Nov 2017
During the past two decades, the Geoscience Education Research (GER) community has been increasingly recognized as an evidence-based research subdiscipline in the geoscience and in the larger discipline-based education research (DBER) field. Most recently, the GER community has begun to address the current state of the field and discuss the best course forward so that it can have the greatest collective impact on advancing teaching and learning in the geosciences. The community has formally recognized that practice should be evidence based and that the strengths and limitations of community-level research claims should be transparent. As such, this commentary article describes a conceptual model--the Strength of Evidence Pyramid--as a pathway to organize the strength of evidence in the GER community of generalizable claims generated by both geo-Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and geo-DBER efforts. Its design is informed by a rubric and the outcomes of a DBER synthesis, as well as by parallels we see in the concept of evidence-based medicine in the health sciences. The proposed GER Strength of Evidence Pyramid uses five levels to categorize GER-community claims: (1) practitioner wisdom/expert opinion; original qualitative and quantitative studies, including (2) case studies and (3) cohort studies; and analyzed published literature in the form of (4) meta-analyses and (5) systematic reviews. The goal of the Pyramid is to assist geoscience-education researchers and geoscience educators to visualize, organize their thinking, and evaluate the quality of the evidence of GER-community claims. The potential applications and limitations of the model for use in the GER community are described.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1513519